Long road trips are a great way to spend time together as a family. They’re also a great way for your kids to drive you and each other crazy. While your solution might just be to step on the gas and get to your destination as quickly as possible, you could also make the trip not feel so long by keeping the family entertained. Here are some ideas for you try on your long road trip this summer.
Keeping the kids occupied on other tasks will help keep them from bugging each other so you’ll need to take a few different tools. Head to your local store and find road trip trivia games. You could also just take your Trivial Pursuit cards if you have the game. Use the games to determine whom gets to choose what music you listen to or where you stop to eat next. In the game aisle of the store, you’ll find tons of options for car games like MadLibs, trivia, and if your car has the space, card games. If your kids can handle it, also be sure to have plenty of comic books or novels for them to read.
There are plenty of car games you can play without buying a single thing, too. 20 questions, I Spy, and Ghost are all great games that don’t require anything other your imaginations. You might want to collect the crosswords and Sudokus from the newspaper for a couple weeks before your departure date, too.
If you have a portable DVD player or tablet device, these are a great way to entertain your kids with minimal effort. A long road trip filled with their favorite movies will fly by. You could also let your kids take turn using the tablet or a smartphone to play games. You know how easily kids can spend hours playing video games and during a road trip is a time that you can endorse it. You could also try listening to a book on tape together during the trip. There are several great novels and series that are suitable for kids and teens that are also fun and interesting for adults. Though of course watching movies or listening to the Harry Potter series the entire time each way would get boring for everyone, having these as options will really make a difference.
To help keep the family from going too stir crazy, you might also want to pack a soccer ball, baseball gloves, kites, or other garage equipment so you can let some energy out every time you stop. It will add time to your road trip but releasing energy and relieving cramped muscles will make everyone feel much more comfortable when stuck in a car seat. Plus if you really tire them out, they might just fall asleep and give you some peace and quiet.
If you really dread the road trip, your kids will too. Instead you can use the time in the car to show your kids that you can enjoy the journey just as much as you can the destination with the right attitude.
Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for www.boston-ge.com, where you can find garage equipment and other automotive accessories.